Having been conscripted into baking for a crowd more times than what is excusable, I have come to learn that there is nothing quite so useful as a sheet cake. Typically an easy recipe with a large yield, sheet cakes are a staple of picnics, baby showers, and family gatherings all over the United States. If you've never baked one, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fast they come together, and how many different types exist. To get you started, I found 11 sheet pan cake recipes that will feed a crowd without keeping you in the kitchen.
There used to be just a few standard sheet cake recipes. The most famous of these is the Texas sheet cake. A chocolate base reminiscent of red velvet thanks to the vinegar (or sour cream, in some cases) in the batter, it is frosted with a thick layer of gooey buttercream, and it is truly delicious.
However, in the past few years, people have been playing with the idea, and have been churning out ever more styles of cake, from peaches and cream to white chocolate and raspberry. It should be noted that any cake recipe can be turned into a sheet cake with a little bit of math. If the recipe calls for a 9 by 13-inch pan, you double the recipe. If it's a layer cake that makes two 9-inch rounds, then you go up by half. While this can get tricky with measurements like eggs, I have found that you can either scramble and weigh the eggs or you can simply use only the yolk, which has the added benefit of making a richer cake.
1. White Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake
Averie Cooks is great at explaining the process, and she does here for her white chocolate Texas sheet cake. There's a risk of getting a huge hill in the center of the cake if you don't use the proper heat and pan. Averie's instructions for this delectable creamy white chocolate version will have you making it perfectly. Plus, it's a versatile batter. If you want to switch up frostings, add lemon or lime, or even dot it with fruit, it will work.
2. Peaches & Cream Sheet Cake
It's peach season, and there is a huge tree in the back of my lot that is just about ready to harvest. I plan on making a few of these peaches and cream sheet cakes from The Simple Sweet Life for parties and to give as gifts.
3. Pumpkin Spice Sheet Cake
I adore all things pumpkin spice — especially the real deal. This pumpkin spice sheet cake from Table for Two is full of the delicious orange squash, and I can just imagine how good it smells as it bakes. I am ready for knee high boots, rustling leaves, hayrides, and hiding from my children while eating this cake.
4. Traditional Texas Sheet Cake
Hold me back. I want to dive into that picture. Texas sheet cake is my absolute favorite, and this version from Brown Eyed Baker is calling to me with its siren song of fudgy chocolatey goodness. This iteration has sour cream that will give it a tiny bit of sharpness and creamy mouth feel.
5. Hostess Look-A-Like
If you tell me you don't like Hostess snack cakes, we're going to have to have a long discussion about why you're wrong. There will be a Powerpoint presentation and probably some interpretive dancing. It's the snack cake blessed by all of the gods ever worshipped — that's fact.
However, sometimes, you just want something that maybe won't survive a robot apocalypse, and this sheet cake from Bakerella will do the trick nicely.
6. Chocolate Sheet Cake With Milk Chocolate Ganache
I have never met a ganache I didn't want to slather all over anything in close proximity and shove in my face. On a creamy, dreamy chocolate cake like this one from Brown Eyed Baker? Yes, please.
7. Banana Sheet Cake
Banana cake has a way of making you feel warm and cozy when you eat it. It's just so homey and comforting, and this banana sheet cake from Hummingbird High hits all the right notes for me.
8. Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake
Brown Eyed Baker is on fire with all of these sheet cake recipes. This is a twist on a classic Coca-Cola cake recipe, and I am here for it. The soda decreases the amount of sugar in the recipe, so the crumb changes. This cake is fantastic a la mode, or as a base for s'mores.
9. White Chocolate & Raspberry Sheet Cake
White chocolate and raspberry is one of my favorite combinations. If you've never had it, that needs to change. Take advantage of the end of berry season by using up the berries that are still available for this cake by Hummingbird High.
10. Sheet Cake Brownies
Averie Cooks makes amazing brownies. This recipe makes a ton of them, while also having the flavor of a Texas sheet cake. It will surely be a huge hit wherever you bring them.
11. Flag Cake
It's almost Labor Day, so I felt like a flag cake like this one from Brown Eyed Baker was in order. It's simple. It's fun. It's patriotic. Win.